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Taillight Bulb and Assembly Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Taillight Bulb and Assembly Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$2 to $280

Talent:

**

Tools:

8mm deep socket, Philips, trim removal tool

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

New bulbs or assembly

Hot Tip:

Tape around the paint if you are worried when removing

Performance Gain:

Working taillights

Complementary Modification:

Reseal gasket around assembly

Make sure your taillights are working properly on your Porsche 944 and 951 and change out any bad bulb right away.

The bulbs are quick and easy to change and are not expensive so do not leave a burnt out bulb in place; you might get a ticket. The taillight bulbs are changed from inside the hatch area on the 944. If you have a bulb that is out always inspect the electrical connector and the socket before just replacing the bulb. The sockets can get corrosion in them over time, which can lead to a bulb not working. Make sure you clean all the sockets with a small wire brush or some Emory paper before installing new bulbs.

Remember when working with bulbs, never touch the glass part of the bulb with your bare hands or anything with oil or grease. The oils from your skin or rags will cause a hot spot on the bulb and result in diminished life expectancy.

Begin by opening the hatch and removing the trim and carpet from the area around the rear corners. Please see our article on removing hatch trim for additional assistance.

The rear taillight bulbs are accessed by removing the panel on the taillight assembly.
Figure 1

The rear taillight bulbs are accessed by removing the panel on the taillight assembly. Use your hands and unscrew the plastic knob (yellow arrow).

With the plastic knob removed you can pull the panel off the back of the assembly.
Figure 2

With the plastic knob removed you can pull the panel off the back of the assembly. The bulbs are actually in the panel.

You can change the bulbs out with the panel in the vehicle or you can disconnect the panel so you can take it to your workbench to clean and work on it.
Figure 3

You can change the bulbs out with the panel in the vehicle or you can disconnect the panel so you can take it to your workbench to clean and work on it. To disconnect the panel pull the main wiring connection apart (red arrow).

Then separate the wiring that goes from the taillight to the rear side turn signal indicator by pulling them apart (red arrow).
Figure 4

Then separate the wiring that goes from the taillight to the rear side turn signal indicator by pulling them apart (red arrow).

The bulbs are simply push, turn and pull (red arrow).
Figure 5

The bulbs are simply push, turn and pull (red arrow). Remember to clean the sockets with a little Emory paper and do not touch the bulbs with your bare skin.

To remove the assembly from the vehicle you will need to remove the nuts holding it in place.
Figure 6

To remove the assembly from the vehicle you will need to remove the nuts holding it in place. There are six 8mm nuts and washers on six studs built into the housing (red arrows).

You will need to use an 8mm deep socket to fit over the long studs (red arrows).
Figure 7

You will need to use an 8mm deep socket to fit over the long studs (red arrows).

Push the assembly out from inside the rear of the hatch.
Figure 8

Push the assembly out from inside the rear of the hatch. You may need to use a trim removal tool to help pry the assembly away from the vehicle (red arrow). If you are going to use a trim removal tool you may want to put some painters tape around the area you are working on to protect the paint.

Remove the housing and clean all the old gasket and sealant off (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the housing and clean all the old gasket and sealant off (red arrow). These housings are known to leak water into the hatch area and people use all kinds of sealant to try and get them water tight.

Make sure to remove all the old sealant from the body as well (red arrow).
Figure 10

Make sure to remove all the old sealant from the body as well (red arrow). Once everything is clean run a single bead of sealant around the area and reinstall the assembly. There is no need to over tighten the nuts. Installation is the reverse of removal.


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